Economic Watch: Producer Prices Unchanged in August

September 16, 2014

By Evan Lockridge

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Prices at the wholesale level were tame in August, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Labor Department.

The Producer Price Index was unchanged, following a 0.1% gain in July and a 0.4% jump during June.

Goods prices fell 0.3% in August due to a 1.5% decline in energy costs, and a 0.5% decline in good prices. Service costs rose 0.3% in August due to a 0.3% increase in warehousing and transportation prices. Trade costs were unchanged in August.

The “core rate” for August, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased just 0.1% after a 0.2% hike in July.

Over the past 12 months the “core rate” has increased 1.8% while the overall rate is up by the same amount.

“Producer prices continue to abate for the second consecutive month thanks to a significant energy price reprieve,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at the investment firm Sterne Agee. “Ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve announcement, benign inflation reports will continue to ease pressure on the Fed to raise rates sooner than later, and instead offer more wiggle room to wait for more significant improvement to come to fruition in terms of labor market conditions.”

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